Assorted Qur’an Benefits #37

The following short quotes and excerpts were originally published on our social media channels during November 2019:

♦ Those Who Recite the Qur’an but Do Not Know its Tafsir

In part of the introduction to his famous book of tafsir, Imam al-Qurtubi mentioned the following statement:
وقال إياس بن معاوية : مثل الذين يقرءون القرآن وهم لا يعلمون تفسيره كمثل قوم جاءهم كتاب من ملكهم ليلا وليس عندهم مصباح فتداخلتهم روعة ولا يدرون ما في الكتاب ومثل الذي يعرف التفسير كمثل رجل جاءهم بمصباح فقرءوا ما في الكتاب. ـ
Iyaas ibn Mu’awiyah said, “Those who recite the Qur’an but do not know its tafsir are like a people who received a letter from their king during the night but do not have any lamp with them, so alarm comes over them and they do not know what the letter contains. But one who knows its tafsir is like a man who brings them a lamp so that they can read what the letter contains.”
[Tafsir al-Qurtubi 1/41]

♦ A Light for the Munafiqoon

Allah describes the munafiqoon in surah al-Nisaa’ by saying:

إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ يُخَادِعُونَ اللَّـهَ وَهُوَ خَادِعُهُمْ

Indeed, the hypocrites [think to] deceive Allah, but He is deceiving them. [4:142]

In his explanation of this, Imam al-Qurtubi mentioned the following narration: Continue reading

Allah’s Comparison of the Dunya and Water: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

In surah al-Kahf, Allah presents the following comparison:

وَاضْرِ‌بْ لَهُم مَّثَلَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا كَمَاءٍ أَنزَلْنَاهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ فَاخْتَلَطَ بِهِ نَبَاتُ الْأَرْ‌ضِ فَأَصْبَحَ هَشِيمًا تَذْرُ‌وهُ الرِّ‌يَاحُ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ مُّقْتَدِرً‌ا

And strike an example of the life of this world for: It is like water which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it. Then it becomes dry remnants, scattered by the winds. And Allah holds power over all things [18:45]

In part of his commentary on this ayah, Imam al-Qurtubi wrote:

وقالت الحكماء : إنما شبه – تعالى – الدنيا بالماء لأن الماء لا يستقر في موضع ، كذلك الدنيا لا تبقى على واحد ، ولأن الماء لا يستقيم على حالة واحدة كذلك الدنيا ، ولأن الماء لا يبقى ويذهب كذلك الدنيا تفنى ، ولأن الماء لا يقدر أحد أن يدخله ولا يبتل كذلك الدنيا لا يسلم أحد دخلها من فتنتها وآفتها ، ولأن الماء إذا كان بقدر كان نافعا منبتا ، وإذا جاوز المقدار كان ضارا مهلكا ، وكذلك الدنيا الكفاف منها ينفع وفضولها يضر . ـ

Some of the wise ones have said: Allah only likened the life of this worldly life to water because:

1) Water does not does remain stable in any place, just as this worldly life does not remain in one place Continue reading

Assorted Qur’an Benefits #36

The following short quotes and excerpts were originally published on our social media channels during the second half of October 2019:

♦ The Virtue of Teaching the Qur’an

Allah says in surah Fussilat:

وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ قَوْلًا مِّمَّن دَعَا إِلَى اللَّـهِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا وَقَالَ إِنَّنِي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ

And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah and does righteousness and says, “Indeed, I am of the Muslims.” [41:33]

Ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani mentioned this ayah in his explanation of Imam al-Bukhari’s chapter entitled “The Best of You Are Those Who Learn the Qur’an and Teach it” and commented on the first quality mentioned in the ayah by saying:

وَالدُّعَاءُ إِلَى اللَّهِ يَقَعُ بِأُمُورٍ شَتَّى ، مِنْ جُمْلَتِهَا تَعْلِيمُ الْقُرْآنِ وَهُوَ أَشْرَفُ الْجَمِيع

Calling to Allah can be done through many different ways, one of which is teaching the Qur’an, which is the most noble of them all.

[Fath al-Bari 9/76]


Sabr in the Qur’an

In his work dedicated to the virtues of Sabr and Shukr (steadfast patience and gratitude), Imam ibn al-Qayyim preceded his discussion of the places where Sabr is mentioned in the Qur’an by writing: Continue reading

Assorted Qur’an Benefits #35

The following short quotes and excerpts were originally published on our social media channels during the first half of October 2019:

♦ The Sickness and the Cure

Allah says in surah al-Israa’:

إِنَّ هَـٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ يَهْدِي لِلَّتِي هِيَ أَقْوَمُ وَيُبَشِّرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ الَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ الصَّالِحَاتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا كَبِيرًا

This Qur’an certainly guides to that which is most correct and gives glad tidings to the believers who do righteous good deeds that there will be a great reward for them. [17:9]

In his book of narration-based tafsir, Jalal al-Deen al-Suyooti wrote the following under this ayah:

 وأخرج ابن أبي حاتم عن قتادة في الآية قال : إن هذا القرآن يدلكم على دائكم ودوائكم؛ فأما داؤكم فالذنوب والخطايا، وأما دواؤكم فالاستغفار . ـ

Ibn Abi Haatim brought the following quote from Qatadah under his explanation of this ayah:

Indeed, this Qur’an shows you your sickness and your cure. As for your sickness, it is sins and errors, and as for your cure, it is seeking Allah’s forgiveness.

[al-Durr al-Manthoor 9/622]


♦ “We Offered the Trust to the Heavens and the earth and the mountains …”

Allah informs us in surah al-Ahzab:

إِنَّا عَرَضْنَا الْأَمَانَةَ عَلَى السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالْجِبَالِ فَأَبَيْنَ أَن يَحْمِلْنَهَا وَأَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا وَحَمَلَهَا الْإِنسَانُ ۖ إِنَّهُ كَانَ ظَلُومًا جَهُولًا

Indeed, we offered the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and they declined to bear it and feared it; but man took it upon himself. Indeed, he was unjust and ignorant. [33:72] Continue reading

Whoever Does an Ant’s Weight of Good Will See It: Tafsir ibn Kathir

While describing the events of the Day of Judgement in surah al-Zalzalah, Allah completes the surah by informing us:

فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ * وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ

So whoever does an ant’s weight of good will see it * and whoever does an ant’s weight of evil will see it [99:7-8]

al-Haafidh Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir included the following explanations from Sa’eed ibn Jubayr, one of the tabi’oon and a student of ibn ‘Abbaas, in his commentary on this ayah:

وقال ابن أبي حاتم : حدثنا أبو زرعة ، حدثنا يحيى بن عبد الله بن بكير ، حدثني ابن لهيعة ، حدثني عطاء بن دينار ، عن سعيد بن جبير في قوله تعالى : ( فمن يعمل مثقال ذرة خيرا يره ومن يعمل مثقال ذرة شرا يره ) وذلك لما نزلت هذه الآية : ( ويطعمون الطعام على حبه مسكينا ويتيما وأسيرا ) [ الإنسان : 8 ] ، كان المسلمون يرون أنهم لا يؤجرون على الشيء القليل الذي أعطوه ، فيجيء المسكين إلى أبوابهم فيستقلون أن يعطوه التمرة والكسرة والجوزة ونحو ذلك ، فيردونه ويقولون : ما هذا بشيء . إنما نؤجر على ما نعطي ونحن نحبه . وكان آخرون يرون أنهم لا يلامون على الذنب اليسير : الكذبة والنظرة والغيبة وأشباه ذلك ، يقولون : إنما وعد الله النار على الكبائر . فرغبهم في القليل من الخير أن يعملوه ، فإنه يوشك أن يكثر ، وحذرهم اليسير من الشر ، فإنه يوشك أن يكثر ، فنزلت : ( فمن يعمل مثقال ذرة ) يعني : وزن أصغر النمل ( خيرا يره ) يعني : في كتابه ، ويسره ذلك . قال : يكتب لكل بر وفاجر بكل سيئة سيئة واحدة . وبكل حسنة عشر حسنات ، فإذا كان يوم القيامة ضاعف الله حسنات المؤمنين أيضا ، بكل واحدة عشر ، ويمحو عنه بكل حسنة عشر سيئات ، فمن زادت حسناته على سيئاته مثقال ذرة دخل الجنة . ـ

Ibn Abi Haatim reported that … Sa’eed ibn Jubayr commented on the ayah

فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ * وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ

So whoever does an ant’s weight of good will see it * and whoever does an ant’s weight of evil will see it [99:7-8]

by saying:

It happened that when the ayah

وَيُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِ مِسْكِينًا وَيَتِيمًا وَأَسِيرًا

And they give food despite their love for it to the poor, the orphans and the prisoners of war [76:8]

was revealed, the Muslims thought that they would not be rewarded for small amounts of charity. So a poor person would come to their doors and they felt that to give him a date or a scrap of food or a nut or the likes was something insignificant so they would send him away, saying, “That is nothing, we will only be rewarded if we give away something that we love.” Continue reading

“Whoever is Not Able to Stand at ‘Arafah …”: Ibn Rajab

In part of his final comments on Hajj in his book on the events of the Islamic calendar, al-haafidh ibn Rajab al-Hanbali wrote the following beautiful words:

من لم يستطيع الوقوف بعرفه فليقف عند حدود الله الذي عرفه ومن لم يستطيع المبيت في مزدلفه فليبت عزمه علئ طاعه الله ليقربه ويزدلفه ومن لم يقدر على نحر هديه بمنى فليذبح هواهه هنا ليبلغ به المنى ومن لم يستطع الوصول للبيت لانه منه بعيد فليقصد رب البيت فانه اقرب اليه من حبل الوريد . ـ

Whoever is not able to stand at ‘Arafah, then let him come to a standstill at the limits that Allah has set for him!

Whoever is not able to stay the night at Muzdhalifah, then let him stay in a state of obedience to Allah, seeking closeness and nearness to Him!

Whoever is not able to slaughter his sacrificial animal at Mina, then let him slaughter his own lusts and desires so that might achieve that higher aim! Continue reading

Praise for Tafsir al-Tabari from Great Scholars of the Past

In his handbook to the Qur’anic sciences, Jalal al-Deen al-Suyooti concluded an overview of the famous scholars of tafsir of the past and their books by writing the following high praise for the great mufassir, Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (died 310AH/932CE) and his famous book of tafsir commonly referred to as Tafsir al-Tabari or Tafsir ibn Jarir:

فِإِنْ قُلْتَ : فَأَيُّ التَّفَاسِيرِ تُرْشِدُ إِلَيْهِ وَتَأْمُرُ النَّاظِرَ أَنْ يُعَوِّلَ عَلَيْهِ ؟ قُلْتُ : تَفْسِيرُ الْإِمَامِ أَبِي جَعْفَرِ بْنِ جَرِيرٍ الطَّبَرِيِّ الَّذِي أَجْمَعَ الْعُلَمَاءُ الْمُعْتَبَرُونَ عَلَى أَنَّهُ لَمْ يُؤَلَّفْ فِي التَّفْسِيرِ مِثْلُهُ . قَالَ النَّوَوِيُّ فِي تَهْذِيبِهِ : كِتَابُ ابْنِ جَرِيرٍ فِي التَّفْسِيرِ لَمْ يُصَنِّفْ أَحَدٌ مِثْلَهُ .ـ

If one were to ask, “Which book of tafsir would you recommend for someone looking for something to rely on?” then I would say: the Tafsir of the Imam Abu Ja’far ibn Jarir al-Tabari. All the scholars worth any consideration agree that there hasn’t been anything else like it written in the field of tafsir.

al-Nawawi said in al-Tahdheeb, “The Tafsir of ibn Jarir – no one has authored anything like it.”

[al-Itqan 2/476]

al-Suyooti highlighted one of the reasons for the great merit of ibn Jarir and his tafsir earlier in the same discussion when he wrote: Continue reading

Assorted Qur’an Benefits #20

What follows is a collection of various benefits originally posted on our Facebook page during August, September, October and November of 2017:

♦ The Knowledge of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood

Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee mentioned the following narration in part of his tafsir:

وقال ابن مسعود : إذا حدثتكم بحديث أنبأتكم بتصديقه من كتاب الله . أخرجه ابن أبي حاتم . ـ

ibn Mas’ood said, “If any of you were to narrate a hadeeth to me, I can tell you something from Allah’s Book which affirms it.” This was reported by ibn Abi Haatim.

[Adhwaa’ al-Bayaan 2/429]


♦ The Qur’an is the Spring of the Hearts

Imam al-Qurtubi mentioned the following quote in the last part of his tafsir of surah al-Shooraa [42]:

وكان مالك بن دينار يقول : يا أهل القرآن ، ماذا زرع القرآن في قلوبكم ؟ فإن القرآن ربيع القلوب كما أن الغيث ربيع الأرض . ـ

Malik ibn Dinar used to say, “O people of the Qur’an, what has the Qur’an produced in your hearts? For the Qur’an is the spring of the hearts, just as rain is the spring for the earth.”

[Jaami’ li-Ahkam al-Qur’an 16/53]


♦ Be Frequent in Seeking Allah’s Forgiveness

In part of his commentary on surah Aal ‘Imraan [03], Imam al-Qurtubi mentions the following words from the tabi’ee, Makhool: Continue reading

“Good speech ascends to Allah and righteous action raises it”: Narration-based Tafsir

One of the many valuable works authored by Jalal al-Deen al-Suyooti in service of the Qur’an is al-Durr al-Manthoor, a book dedicated to collecting the explanations of the Qur’an transmitted from the Prophet, the Sahabah, and the Tabi’oon. What follows is his complete explanation for the following ayah from surah Faatir:

قوله تعالى : إليه يصعد الكلم الطيب والعمل الصالح يرفعه

Allah’s statement:

إِلَيْهِ يَصْعَدُ الْكَلِمُ الطَّيِّبُ وَالْعَمَلُ الصَّالِحُ يَرْفَعُهُ

Good speech ascends to Allah and righteous action raises it [35:10]

أخرج عبد بن حميد ، وابن جرير ، وابن المنذر والطبراني والحاكم ، وصححه، والبيهقي في “الأسماء والصفات” عن ابن مسعود قال : إذا حدثناكم بحديث أتيناكم بتصديق ذلك من كتاب الله، إن العبد المسلم إذا قال : سبحان الله وبحمده، والحمد لله، ولا إله إلا الله، والله أكبر، وتبارك الله . قبض عليهن ملك فضمهن تحت جناحه، ثم يصعد بهن إلى السماء، فلا يمر [ ص: 258 ] بهن على جمع من الملائكة إلا استغفروا لقائلهن، حتى يجيء بهن وجه الرحمن، ثم قرأ : إليه يصعد الكلم الطيب والعمل الصالح يرفعه . ـ

It is reported by ‘Abd ibn Humayd, ibn Jarir, ibn al-Mundhir, al-Tabarani, al-Hakem (who graded it as saheeh), and al-Bayhaqi in al-Asmaa’ w’al-Sifaat that ibn Mas’ood said:

Whenever I mention a hadith to you, I will bring you something from the Qur’an to affirm it.

When a Muslim slave says subhanAllah wa bi-hamdi, al-hamdu lillah, laa illaah illallaah, Allaah akbar, or tabaarakAllaah then an angel comes and takes these statements and puts them under his wing. He then goes up with them to the heavens, and there is no group of angels that he passes by with these words who don’t supplicate to Allah to forgive the one who said them. He continues like this until he brings them to the very face of al-Rahman.

He then recited: Continue reading

The Great Status of Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari: al-Dhahabi

In his massive biographical encyclopedia, Imam al-Dhahabi mentioned the following quote in his entry on the great commentator on the Qur’an, Muhammad ibn Jareer al-Tabari:

وقال الخطيب محمد بن جرير بن يزيد بن كثير بن غالب : كان أحد أئمة العلماء ، يحكم بقوله ، ويرجع إلى رأيه لمعرفته وفضله ، وكان قد جمع من العلوم ما لم يشاركه فيه أحد من أهل عصره ، فكان حافظا لكتاب الله ، عارفا بالقراءات ، بصيرا بالمعاني ، فقيها في أحكام القرآن ، عالما بالسنن وطرقها ، صحيحها وسقيمها ، وناسخها ومنسوخها ، عارفا بأقوال الصحابة والتابعين ، عارفا بأيام الناس وأخبارهم ، وله الكتاب المشهور في [ ص: 270 ] ” أخبار الأمم وتاريخهم ” ، وله كتاب : ” التفسير ” لم يصنف مثله ، وكتاب سماه : ” تهذيب الآثار ” لم أر سواه في معناه ، لكن لم يتمه ، وله في أصول الفقه وفروعه كتب كثيرة واختيار من أقاويل الفقهاء ، وتفرد بمسائل حفظت عنه .ـ

al-Khateeb said:

Muhammad ibn Jareer ibn Yazeed ibn Katheer ibn Ghaalib – He was one of the leaders of the scholars. His position carried authority, and his opinions were referred back to due to his knowledge and virtue.

He has amassed such a great amount of knowledge that none of his contemporaries matched him in that, for he had memorized the Qur’an, was well-acquainted with its various recitations, insightful into its meanings, expertly versed in the legal rulings of the Qur’an, knowledgeable of the sunnah and their chains of narration – whether they be authentic or otherwise, abrogating or abrogated -, familiar with the positions of the Sahabah and the Tabi’oon, and well-informed of historical facts and biographies. Continue reading